The Anal Sacs of Dogs and cats are 2 structures located near the anus. They are normally 1/2 inch long and are connected to the anus through narrow ducts. The walls of the anal sacs contain glands that secrete foul smelling yellow fluids. Bowel movements normally empty the anal sacs as the stool moves out the anus.
Anal sac disorders are more common in dogs, but can occur in cats. Signs include a red raised hairless area either side of the anus. Some anal sac abscesses rupture spontaneously producing an ugly open wound with a watery yellow green discharge. The problem can be excruciatingly painful causing pets to cry out when stool is passed.
Causes include bacterial infection of the anal sac. Diagnosis is accomplished by examination. Antibiotics are needed to treat the infection. Treatment may require anesthesia and surgical lancing and draining of the abscess followed by irrigation and possible surgical debridement.
If chronic and repeated anal infections occur, surgical anal saculectomy may be recommended once the tissues have healed. Warm compresses twice daily may be required to alleviate inflammation and pain. Pets benefit from high fiber low calorie diets such as Hills R/D to prevent recurrence of anal sac abscess.